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Washington and Lee Student Consulting Names New Executive Directors

Shelbi Hendricks ’16 and Inga Wells ’16 have been named the new executive directors of Washington and Lee Student Consulting.

Student Consulting provides pro bono consulting services to non-profit and for-profit organizations. Membership in the group is selective and directors go through a competitive interview process to get the job of leading the co-curricular organization.

“We’re extremely pleased to have selected two students whose broad experiences have prepared them for this leadership role,” said Rob Straughan, who is a business administration professor, the dean-elect of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics and an advisor to the group. Accounting professor and department chair Elizabeth Oliver also serves as an advisor.

Hendricks is a business administration and psychology double major from Louisville, Kentucky. She joined Student Consulting as a junior and will intern with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company this summer.

“One of the interesting things about Student Consulting is that you’re put into a real world situation as an undergrad,” said Hendricks. “You have to deliver really great results to your client, and you have to do it in a manner that them to accept results from an undergrad.”

Wells is an accounting and business administration major and dance minor from Upper Arlington, Ohio. She joined Student Consulting as a sophomore, thinking she might pursue a career in the consulting industry. After completing an internship in wealth management last summer, she decided to pursue a career in investment banking instead. This summer she’ll intern with Deutsche Bank.

“In my interview with Deutsche Bank, I wanted to leverage my Student Consulting experience. Consulting isn’t just about soft skills—it demands accounting skills and organizational skills. I’m hoping it’ll be a good transition,” said Wells.

Students who join Student Consulting work on a new consulting project each term. Projects range widely. In the past, teams have worked on everything from marketing plans and social media strategies to human resources audits and community surveys.

The directors are responsible for recruiting new companies and nonprofits with which to work. Often, it’s local business leaders and alumni who are the first to recognize the value in letting Washington and Lee students tackle their real business problems.

“We’re looking for a good array of projects—both in the nonprofit and for-profit sector,” said Hendricks. “We also want to try to reach outside the Lexington community and work with more national companies.”

Hendricks spent the winter term working with a team of other students to help get a not-for-profit foundation called Blue Star Fund off the ground. Blue Star Fund will provide scholarships to the children of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Wells’ favorite project was working with a start-up called Y’allsome. The company sells graphic tees, hats and other merchandise and donates 15 percent of its proceeds to programs that support foster children in the south.

“It was the first time I’d ever worked with a client that I’d never worked with in person,” said Wells. “It was a very different way to establish a business relationship.”

Both Hendricks and Wells hope to make a big impact on the organization during the coming year. They want to not only produce great work for great clients but to inspire a new generation of Generals to consider careers in consulting.

“This is a group that already has a great reputation, and are very well-suited for consulting careers,” said Hendricks. “I want to serve as a resource to those students who might be considering consulting.”